August 02 , 2019
In July,13, the Canadian newspaper “WHEEL” published an article “Westlake passes the test with flying colours” on its print newspaper to recommend Westlake RP18 based on the good tire test result.
The article is written by Kevin “Crash” Corrigan, a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada & the International Motor Press Association. He is a former licenced technician with over 40 years’ experience in the auto industry. He had a tire test to test the tire performance and written the article:
Tires are tires, right?
They’re something you need to replace on your vehicle to stay on the right side of the law, yes?
Yes well, some may view it that way but, when your life is traveling on just four small square patches of rubber that meet the road, I believe it’s wise to do a little homework on the subject.
Should you buy the most expensive tires you can find?
If you’re related to royalty or if you won last week’s big lottery, then read through the reviews and purchase the best rubber available, no matter what the cost. I’d also recommend this approach if you own a high-performance vehicle that you regularly take to the racetrack. However, for most of us, we purchase what we can afford and what meets our personal needs. Obviously, the requirements of a long-distance highway commuter differ from those who use their vehicles few times a week to gather up groceries, with perhaps the occasional out of town trips.
If finances are tight, you may source a set of used tires online but let me provide you a warning on that – ALL tires have a shelf life, due to material deterioration over time. About 5-7 years tends to be the accepted average life of a set of tires. If you fail to notice the build date, those “bargain tires” could’ve been sitting in someone’s garage from a vehicle sold off years ago and you’ll have no idea of how those tires were treated. Thus, I encourage people to buy new rubber.
Fortunately, there are a few brands out there today which offer up-quality products at reasonable prices, which leads us nicely into my review of the Westlake Tire RP18.
My test car was the 2019 Mazda CX3 AWD. This worked out well as I have driven it both on-road and under track conditions. I know how the vehicle behaves and feels with the original OEM tires.
The first thing I noticed was just how quiet these RP18s were although. The ride quality was equally impressive and certainly at par to what I have experienced from OEM fitment in the past.
I then tested the braking under severe conditions by employing high-speed full-wheel lockup on both asphalt and gravel roads. On both occasions, the vehicle tracked straight and true with zero drama. Standing start accelerating from both these tests saw the tires bite in and pull away with relative ease.
Later I headed for my favorite test location – a small, often uninhabited, country roundabout. Twice around a small roundabout tells me most of what I need to know regarding control & grip. There’s a saying in racing that, “listen to what your tires have to say”. Tires will readily supply you audible feedback when pushed to the limit in corners. They’ll scream out to you if you push them hard enough!
Trust me when I say, not surprisingly for an old ex-rally driver, that I managed to get the RP18s to chatter away but I had to listen closely to hear their minor grumblings. I conducted the same test when evaluating new vehicles from the manufacturers and you’d be surprised how deafening some of those OEM tires can be.
I recommend caution when approaching the purchase of affordable tires. However, Westlake is not a new brand, having been used in Canada for many years. Westlake supports its products up with an impressive 80,000kms or 4 Year Warranty which, in many cases, is equal to or higher than some premium-priced brands.
The Westlake RP18 I tested is an all-season, general-purpose product. In my opinion, a set of RP18s should provide above average returns befitting most driver’s requirements. For many today, there is often a case to be made for balancing budget with purchase price and, when you consider the price point of the Westlake RP18, there is a great deal of value for money on offer here.